As indeed in every other sphere of life, even in the world of journalism and mass media, we only have paid mercenaries to do allotted tasks in a routine manner. Most of the journalists today are more bureaucratic, soulless and gutless than most of the bureaucrats. In this enervating and asphyxiating atmosphere, I cannot help recalling a great English journalist like Max Beerbohm (1872-1956) who was also a talented novelist, caricaturist, short story writer, versifier, satirist, parodist, essayist and theatre-critic. Many of his journalistic pieces written between 1895 and 1925 can be read with interest and enthusiasm even today. There is nothing stale about them. They are very humane and contemporary.
Beerbohm was primarily and always an ironist, a comedian, an amused observer standing on the sidelines with a smile and a glass of wine in his hand. G K Chesterton rightly observed that 'he does not indulge in the base idolatry of believing in himself'.
The Secret People
3 weeks ago